MY MELANOMA STORY
25-year-old model Oceana Strachan, who was diagnosed with melanoma in April 2021, is the face of this year’s ‘Game On Mole’ campaign.
‘I have olive skin and naively thought if I got sunburnt, I would deal with the consequences much later in life,’ Oceana said. ‘But then I discovered an unusual looking mole on my leg and luckily, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, decided to go the doctor to get it checked. I was shocked when I was diagnosed with melanoma and ended up at Melanoma Institute Australia and having surgery.’
Following her shock diagnosis, Oceana shared her very personal melanoma story with her hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram, in the hope it would help promote sun-safe behaviour and early detection of the disease.
‘I am so thankful that I didn’t delay seeking treatment,’ Oceana said. ‘And that’s why I’m proudly supporting ‘Game On Mole’ - if just one person hears my story, and checks their skin and seeks medical advice, then it will be worth it. These are life-saving conversations that all of Australia desperately needs to have,’ she said.
Cate Campbell is used to being in the national spotlight – a world record holder, Olympian and national swimming champion, she thrives on a challenge. One national title she wasn’t vying for, was to be diagnosed with Australia’s national cancer – melanoma.
Cate’s outdoor lifestyle, coupled with her fair Scottish complexion, put her at high risk of developing skin cancer. However, it was only after a friend had a close call with melanoma that she went for an overdue skin check. A mole on her arm was removed, which turned out to be Stage I melanoma.
Cate knows she is one of the lucky ones. Her melanoma was caught early and cured with surgery alone.
‘Melanoma affects so many people, not just the people who are diagnosed, but their friends and families as well. The ripple effect is huge. My melanoma developed in a mole I’d had my whole life, and on the surface, nothing looked like it had changed. I shudder to think what would have happened if I hadn’t had my skin checked. I hope that by sharing my story I can encourage young Australians to not only be sun-safe, but also vigilant about checking their skin.’
Cate has proudly supported ‘Game On Mole’ since its launch two years ago, and once again will be wearing the GOM tee to start life-saving conversations about skin health.
A Ninja legend and Olympic gymnast, Olivia Vivian knows first-hand the devastating impact of melanoma.
Olivia lost her dad Craig to melanoma in 2013, when he was 64. She understands the anguish of witnessing a loved one battle the disease, and the ongoing heartbreak for families.
In honour of her Dad, Olivia is using her Ninja star power to shine a spotlight on sun safety and melanoma prevention and treatment by getting behind 'Game On Mole'.
‘Sadly I lost my Dad to melanoma, so this one is personal for me,’ Olivia said. ‘Melanoma impacts more than just those diagnosed. But it is preventable, and it is treatable if caught early.
I’m all about taking risks with my sport, but not with something like this. It is up to all of us to spread the word about sun safety and skin health, so please join me in making 'Game On Mole' an Aussie conversation starter this summer.’
A legend of Australian rugby, John Eales captained the Wallabies to many triumphs, including winning the Bledisloe Cup, the Tri Nations and the World Cup.
John retired from rugby in 2001 as the highest scoring forward in test rugby history and one of Australia’s most successful Captains. Since John’s retirement he has applied his experience in sport to entrepreneurial means, having written two books about Leadership as well as creating a consultancy company and sports marketing company.
John now uses his profile to help many worthy causes, including melanoma awareness and research, a cause very close to his heart. John's father tragically died at age 66 from advanced melanoma which had spread to his brain. John is a proud ambassador of Melanoma Institute Australia, supporting the Game On Mole campaign each year and attending Melanoma March with his wife and four children.
“In sport and business I have always looked to partner with experts. Melanoma Institute Australia are world’s leading experts in the fight against melanoma, which is unfortunately all too often referred to as ‘Australia’s cancer’. Advancements are continually allowing husbands to spend more time with their wives, parents with their children and all of us with our friends. I am proud to be involved with such an inspirational organisation.”